Contrasting effects of HEPES vs HCO3−-buffered media on whole-cell currents in cultured chemoreceptors of the rat carotid body
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In this study we compared the effects of physiological bicarbonate/CO2-buffered media (BBM) with the commonly used N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N'-2-ethane-sulfonic acid (HEPES)-buffered media (HBM) on whole-cell currents in cultured rat arterial chemoreceptors (i.e. glomus cells) using the perforated-patch technique. Two separate effects were observed on switching from HBM to BBM. First, in the majority of cells tested (31 of 36) there was an increase in the leakage conductance (ca. 5 fold) and a concomitant increase in channel noise, which in preliminary studies appears to arise from the opening of large-conductance anion channels. Second, there was a reversible decrease in voltage-activated outward K+ current which we attribute to cytoplasmic acidification, catalysed by carbonic anhydrase in glomus cells.
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